'Now candidates': Comelec dismisses disqualification cases vs Pimentel, Osmeña

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 26 2019 04:10 PM

MANILA - Disqualification cases against re-electionist Senator Aquilino Pimentel III and former lawmaker Sergio Osmeña III have been dismissed, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Saturday, shortly after it released a partial list of senatorial candidates for the 2019 midterm polls.

The poll body has yet to categorically announce the dismissal of the cases but included Pimentel and Osmeña in a partial list of candidates.

Their names were also absent from a separate roster of hopefuls who were allowed to appeal their cases before the Comelec.

"The fact that they are there [on the partial list] means the decisions were in favor of them. Kandidato na sila," Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told ABS-CBN News.

Two disqualification cases were lodged against Pimentel, arguing that the former Senate president has already maximized the limit of serving 2 consecutive terms.

Pimentel assumed the post in 2011 to occupy the seat of Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, who lost to him in an election protest.

Osmeña's perpetual disqualification case was, meanwhile, filed by the Comelec’s campaign finance office for his failure to submit his campaign expense reports for the 2010 and 2016 elections.

Conrado Generoso, former spokesperson of President Rodrigo Duterte's charter change committee, was also not on the list of hopefuls with pending cases. He earlier protested the Comelec’s decision to include him on its list of nuisance candidates.

Jimenez said he was not at liberty to discuss the merits of the cases.

The Comelec has yet to release the official list of 2019 senatorial candidates as 13 individuals who received unfavorable rulings from the poll body may still appeal their cases, Jimenez said.